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Sloppy Tie Rod/Whirring Sound/Hub Bearing

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Old 12-24-2018, 11:05 AM
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Default Sloppy Tie Rod/Whirring Sound/Hub Bearing

Hello all,

Got another question for you regarding my neverending Jimmy issues.

When I got the truck I noticed what sounded like a bad front passenger hub, and also had the ABS light on the dash. So I replaced the hub and the ABS light went away but not the "Weoweoweoweoweoweow" noise that gains and slows with speed (on a side note, I have now changed front and rear diff fluid, t-case fluid - and inadvertently the transmission fluid since the inner seal is bad and it all dumped into the tcase.)

Today I had the front passenger tire jacked up (drivers on the ground) and noticed I had a good 1 inch of side to side slop in the tire. I poked my head in and saw it is whatever the rod the tie bar connects to. Is this normal or no?

I cannot seem to figure out where the hell that whirring noise is coming from.

How am I supposed to check for a bad wheel bearing if the tires turn side to side that easily? Also - do these things 99 4WD SLE) not have any spring coils?? I was gonna try the "feel for vibrations" trick only to see a shock absorber and that's it...
 

Last edited by BeaterJimmy; 12-24-2018 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:39 PM
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hold the tire top and bottom and check for play while someone looks at the axle. If the axle near the hub moves up and down your hub is bad. And you have inner and outer tie rods
 
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BeaterJimmy View Post
Also - do these things 99 4WD SLE) not have any spring coils?? I was gonna try the "feel for vibrations" trick only to see a shock absorber and that's it...
The 4wd trucks have torsion bars instead of coil springs
 
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:56 AM
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Tires can make the whirring noise.

What kind of tires are you running? OEM style M&S? Big chunky ones?
How does the thread look?

Any play in the steering linkage should be addressed. Can cause some whirring too.
 
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by cleburne red View Post
The 4wd trucks have torsion bars instead of coil springs
Yep after posting this I learned about torsion bars. Pretty interesting system!
 
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by error_401 View Post
Tires can make the whirring noise.

What kind of tires are you running? OEM style M&S? Big chunky ones?
How does the thread look?

Any play in the steering linkage should be addressed. Can cause some whirring too.
The tires are OEM, getting low on tread but not terrible. I will have to order a inner and outer torsion bar/center link/idler arm kit and see if that helps. Hopefully it's not the pitman arm but if it is then it is.
I wish I could figure the dang thing out. Maybe I should just put it on jack stands and put in gear to see if maybe it's the rear wheel bearings instead although that seems extremely dangerous. There is really no chance though that a CV Axle could give that sort of noise? I've been listening to it around slight corners at speed and it doesnt seem to change. Under about 10mph I cant hear it at all so pulling into parking lots wont help determine.

thanks for any advice given
 
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:43 AM
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Preliminary actions I would do with such a problem. They are cheap and except for new tires need only your time.
  1. If planning on new tires, go and have them changed and the wheels properly balanced. Then also do the things I have written up in the "aditional" at the end. If not getting new tires, have a very, very good look at the old tires. This means to best remove the tire, wash it and mark it with a fat or chalk marker to know when you're once around. Check the sides, how it sits in the rim (some tires have a line along the circumference of the rim check it runs on the same distance to the rim all around), roll it on an even surface and observe it (does it hop? Is there up and down movement? Is there sideways movement of the thread?). Check the thread very carefully. Inch by inch check the wear (how deep the profile is), for damage (missing chunks), objects (embedded screws, plastic, glass - you would wonder what I have seen in the threads of tires - but these would mostly make a click/click/click/ noise running, except if over a longer stretch of the thread, such as an embedded piece of wire)
  2. Brush clean the mating surface with the hub, making sure no debris, rust or other is stuck between the hub and the rim's mating surface
  3. Brush clean the mating surface on the hub, do. above.
  4. Check all the wheel bolts, brush the threads clean, apply some anti-seize or copper paste
  5. Lift the vehicle on a pro garage lift, or with a good yack on one side in the front and do the bearing and steering check (just so much that the wheel is off ground by 2 inches
  6. Turn it slowly and listen and feel for noise and how it feels. Grinding noise or feel? Distinguish from brake pads contacting the disc. Pads slightly in contact with the disc may make a noise but should not be felt. The wheel should once turning keep its motion for a short while or need just slight force to keep turning.
  7. Hold the wheel at the 12 and 6 o'clock position and rock it. Do you feel play?
  8. Have somebody step on the brake while doing this (using the necessary precautions it will not upset your yack). When stepping onto the brake that will eliminate all the play in the bearing because the brake caliper will now firmly grip the disc which is attached to the wheel. Now you have a possibility to feel what play is from the bearing and from the steering.
  9. Hold the wheel at the 9 and 3 o'clock position and do the same as in step 7 and 8.
  10. Do the same on the other side.
  11. At the rear you may try the same. Also at the rear push and pull against the wheel (careful not to upset the yack). The rear is more difficult to diagnose especially with our Blazers. The grinding is nearly always a giveaway of a bad bearing.
Bearing check: At 12 and 6 o'clock positions
Steering check: At 9 and 3 o'clock positions

If this yields no conclusive answers I would in addition:
- Take the wheels off again and check
- Discs for discoloration (excessive) ruts and ridges damage, possibly outside and inside on the whole surface by turning the hub
- Brake pads for wear (thickness over all, worn asymmetrically such as slanted)
- Brake shields for not being loose, rusted away etc.
- Brake hose and supports for looseness or any sign of contacting anything (rub marks)
- ABS sensor cable for the same as the brake hoses

All further operations would imply starting to tinker with the suspension and steering linkage.

This could eliminate the bearings and wheels/tires and narrow down your problem - good luck.
 
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:52 AM
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I have remarked you writing about ordering steering linkages. You write "torsion bar". Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding.

The 4x4 Blazers use "Torsion bars" instead of springs for the front suspension. These bars are mounted into the lower A-arm of the suspension and run along the truck inside of the frame, about under the front seats and insert into a forged H-Beam like crossmember under the transmission/engine. They are about 1 inch thick.

I guess you reference to the steering linkage outer ball joints, adjuster sleeves and inner joints. We mostly see failing the outer linkage parts. The center adjuster arm and the pitman and idler arms are less prone to failure. You can change them independently, so going step by step on identified failed parts should be o.k.

Make sure you get the wheels aligned after changing them. this will upset your steering. Can be done at home by measuring the length of the linkages very precisely or with the string method but is a PITA.
 
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